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Asbestos Concerns in the Demolition of the Old Tompkins County Library


ITHACA N.Y. (WENY)--The old Tompkins County public library, located on North Cayuga Street, was first established in 1868. That building has been abandoned for nearly 2 decades now, but plans are in the works to revamp the space. Because the building was built so long ago, its interior infrastructure is not up on recent codes, making the upcoming demolition more hazardous.

"There is no question that this structure, this abandoned library is known to contain asbestos, which is a human cancer causing agent..and so you cannot knock down a giant structure like this without releasing the asbestos," says Walter Hang, President of Toxics Targeting

The old library is in a heavily populated location in Ithaca, causing a number of local community members to be concerned about how the demolition will be handled safely.

"There are many people who are in this area on a daily basis..children, families..and to think that this material could be spreading, not in just the impedimenta area, but much wider area," says Susan Kramer, concerned community member

Officials with the architectural agency behind the demolition and new project are confident in the safety during the demolition period. President of Travis Hyde Properties, Frost Travis, told us the sight will be closed off to the public. During the demolition, there will be active "misters" to keep any dust from the asbestos at bay and each day, the demolished pieces will be taken off sight in covered trucks to protect the public.